LittleEinstein has begun a new career. No, it is not following in the footsteps of Robin Williams, Jim Carey, or Chris Rock; but I’m thinkin’ that day is coming all too soon. Today’s career choice is baseball. Okay, really it is teeball since he isn’t even in kindergarten yet. Though ya might think it a snore, there are some funny things to be said for teeballers. Among the highlights of my first ever teeballmama experience is watching LittleEinstein doing some sort of disco, shake your booty, silliness on the field while he is supposed to be catching the ball. Wait there’s more: he ran off to first base! Yeah right? Wrong. The 1st base plate was on an adjacent baseball field to our small area of sod between the other actual fields. Then at about 3/4 of the way through practice LittleEinstein had to go potty. Of course he did. There were no available restrooms anywhere near us and all the other mommies suggested that since “at least he was a boy he could easily pee in the bushes!” There were no bushes anywhere near us either. The only plant-like species was a new meristem of a tree that in reality resembled a dried stick in the wind. That locale seeming like our best choice was our destination. And LittleEinstein is so fabu he reminded me that “it is not polite to pee on the playground, mama!” Of course. So there he is droppin trou’ facing oncoming traffic on a busy rushhour street because he didn’t want his new friends to see what he was doing! I’m trying to block the vantage of speeding drivers, but he keeps moving around me thinking I am trying to hide him from his teammate’s view! Then there are the interesting dynamics on the team already in motion. About half of the team arrived together with a group of orthodox jewish mommies and siblings in tow. The other half of the team was decidely not jewish and intentionally went out of their way to introduce themselves to BigShot and myself. I was a touch on the dubious side about this whole teeball thing because of the snarkyness of baseball parents we incurred when TeenPrince played. My negative tendencies were not assuaged when I recieved the first email from our new coach. Though she is a woman, she was a tad bit too perky for my liking. Turns out she’s really good, and might actually teach these boys to play some ball afterall. We’ll see how the adults learn to play with others too. It’s going to be an interesting season for sure!

Tee-Ball for Dummies

By: Flash, Published: May 18, 2000

The ball… is often referred to as a “rag ball,” meaning it has a cloth exterior and is slightly malleable. The rag ball is a necessity because the authentic article — the tightly stitched real baseball — will leave a bruise. Pain is anathema to a wholesome formative experience. A well-struck rag ball will still draw wails from a tee-baller, though the victim invariably is more startled than hurt.Tee-ball derives its name from the “tee” — a rubber pedestal on which the rag ball is placed. Players swing at the stationary ball, attempting to put it in play. This is not as simple as it sounds, when your field of vision is the earhole of an oversize helmet. No pitching allowed, because very few tee-ball players can throw. Or hit. Or catch. Or tie their shoes.The Flash once viewed tee-ball as a perversion of the great American pastime, now he sees tee-ball as about the greatest entertainment one can find for free. It also teaches tykes about sportsmanship, teamwork, where the bases are, sand sculpture and, most important, what jerks adults can be. The only players who can field or throw with anything approaching proficiency play in the pitcher’s spot, and at first base. At least 80 percent of putouts in tee-ball are made by this combo. Frequently, the pitcher will field a grounder and simply run the batter down as he or she totters obliviously toward first like a doomed wildebeest on the veldt. Well, they usually head toward first. Sometimes it’s third. In any case, the unassisted pitcher putout obviates the problematic “throw.” When your team is in the field, nobody is left on the bench. That would create a liability problem. All players are dispatched to the field en masse. Adult “coaches” are sprinkled in among the defenders as designated screamers. The constellation of tiny bodies greatly increases the odds that a batted ball will be stopped — provided it strikes a fielder, who is generally waving at his or her mother or creating a gravel scale model of the pyramids at Chichén Itzá.There’s a refreshing degree of anarchy in tee-ball. Once a ball is put in play, defensive positions become afterthoughts. Most players who recognize that the ball actually is in play scurry after the rolling orb and will stop at nothing, including knocking over hapless teammates, to get it. But simply grasping the ball is only half the battle. The fielder must then keep it from being stolen by a teammate determined to be the one to throw it toward the now-vacant infield. Thus, takedown and the takeaway are terms that have become common to tee-ball.Many tee-ball leagues discourage sliding. The Flash always encouraged players to slide, even if they were simply running to the snack bar for the vital post-game treat. Spontaneous sliding is good for the soul.The Flash sincerely hopes that this brief orientation will enhance your tee-ball viewing experience. By all means, take in a game at a diamond near you. Take a lawn chair, sunscreen, something to drink. Acid helps, too.

a bitchin feminista mama at the intersection of political quagmire and real life.

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